Be Part of a Barn Raising

Be part of a barn raising! Handsome Brook Farm is launching a fund drive to raise money to create the Catskill Food Hub – which will help small farms bring their produce to the NYC market. Please help small farms by contributing!

What is a Food Hub?

A food hub is a central place where small farms can sell their produce and products. The goods from multiple small farms are then combined and sold to grocery chains, restaurants and other buyers. This encourages purchasing by large buyers by giving them a single point of contact (the food hub) and gives small farms an opportunity to sell to buyers they might ordinarily not be able to reach.

New York City is only 3 hours from where the Catskill Food Hub will be located – a HUGE market and opportunity for upstate New York small farms.

Small Farmers Need Your Help!

Unfortunately, as in so many places, the number of small farms has declined in recent years due to the focus on large scale and global production. Dairy farmers are struggling due to low milk prices. Most dairy farmers are land rich but cash poor. But the good news is that there is still tremendous production potential in current farms, and interest in farming by transplants to the area. This, combined with our proximity to one of the world’s largest markets, New York City and metro area, and demand by customers for local products, is an opportunity waiting to happen.

So, why are small upstate farms struggling to get their crops to large downstate customers? The explanation is relatively simple: volume and distribution. Grocery chains need to be provided produce and products in volume. Twelve cabbages from Sally Jones is not enough to warrant setting up a vendor process. And contracting with 20 individual small farms is not cost or time effective for the retailers. In addition, the cost to the farmer to transport small volumes of produce to a downstate buyer is prohibitive.

A Solution! The Catskill Food Hub

Bryan and I have a solution that will provide small farmers an opportunity to spend their time doing what they love – growing crops or making their products, while solving the volume and distribution issues. In addition, this solution leverages Handsome Brook Farm’s existing vendor relationships and provides the grocery chains with a way to partner with small farms efficiently and effectively.

How The Catskill Food Hub Will Work – The Process

1. Handsome Brook Farm contracts with grocery retailers to supply them with local produce and products

2. Handsome Brook Farm contracts with local farms and producers to purchase their produce and products.

3. Handsome Brook Farm establishes a Food Hub facility to receive produce and products from farmers, and which serves as a central distributor pick-up location.

4. Handsome Brook Farm aggregates the produce (e.g.: Sally Jones’ 12 cabbages + Jenny’s 100 cabbages + Joe’s 100 cabbages) and sells to local grocery chains. 5. Handsome Brook Farm serves as a broker for other products (e.g. Jams, honey, etc.) that would not be aggregated but sold under the producer’s label.

5. Handsome Brook Farm uses its existing distributor relationships to deliver produce and products to the grocery customers.


This is exciting because it brings buyers and sellers together!